Skip main navigation

Securing evidence: pills and weapon

How this type of evidence would be searched for, recovered and then packaged at the scene
4
James is taking us down to the actual weapon, potential weapon, here that he’s identified, possibly due to the marks left on the body as well. So, we really, because of the tide, need to concentrate on this area here.
28.6
So, as you can see, there are several items in this scene here.
36.5
First of all, we have this iron bracket, which we believe could have some potential blood staining on the end there. We’ve also got lots of bags of pills here that could have been discarded by the victim or the suspect. OK. So James has already conducted a presumptive test on the end of the blood there and confirmed that it is blood. So has this - James, can I confirm that this area has been photographed? This area has been entirely photographed. And this hasn’t been touched or disturbed by anyone else? Nothing’s been moved so far. OK. Let’s go and take a closer look at this weapon then. OK.
75.4
So Natsumi. Yes. On this area here, this weapon, we have multiple evidence types that have real interest to us. James has already conducted a presumptive test on this area of staining here, which he’s confirmed it’s blood. This blood could be from the victim or the suspect. Both could be very much of interest to us. We’ve also got this particular pattern, if this has been used as a weapon, that can be sent off to the lab. They can do damage assessment and compare it with the marks on the body and of the clothing of our deceased. In addition to that area here, we’ve got the rest of this.
118.6
If it has been used as a weapon, we’d be looking for trace evidence at the lab. That would be hairs, fibres and cellular material if the offender wasn’t or was wearing gloves for that matter. Sequentially, we might even look for fingerprints as well as using chemical enhancement techniques. There is merit to sampling this at the scene. But because of the fast tide working against us, my advice to James will be to recover this in its entirety now and have it analysed at the lab. In addition, we’ve got these drugs here. My advice to James will be, again, just to recover them. They can be sent off for analysis.
158.6
And more importantly, at the lab, they’ll get separated from their packaging, so we can look at the packaging to try and identify who’s handled it through fingerprints and cellular material on the seal.
182.4
The item’s wetted at the moment, and in the lab, they’ll dry up as soon as possible to ensure that none of the DNA that’s actually on either end of that will be contaminated or generate any mould growth. OK, Natsumi, so now we have to package the drugs. So perhaps, you can help me with this. Of course. So, if you want to try and pick up drugs, carefully fold the bag over– that’s it– and try and place it into this rigid container.
222.3
So now that that’s in there, we can place the lid on to seal it up, and we can place it within this polythene bag to keep it safe.
234.7
So now that we’ve done that, I can package the rest of the drugs and we can move on.

James is leading you to the spot where the weapon and some unknown pills were found. Learn how this type of evidence would be searched for, recovered and then packaged at the scene

This article is from the free online

The Science Behind Forensic Science

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education